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Every poem is a decapitated head held up by a single hair Serge Pey Translated by Yann Lovelock and Patrick Williamson


The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 26] www.theredceilingspress.co.uk www.redceilings.blogspot.com/


Every poem is a decapitated head held up by a single hair Serge Pey Translated by Yann Lovelock and Patrick Williamson


Acknowledgments: Poems 1-10 (the first series) published online by Raunchland Publications, 2005, as “One is not the number�. Poem 8 of the second series published in issue No. 5 of Circumference: Poetry in Translation, New York, 2006 Poems 1, 7, 35 and 37 of the second series published in Metamorphoses 16.1, Northampton, Massachusetts, US, Spring 2008 Poems, 26, 27, 29 and 36 of the second series in LanguageandCulture.net (US) Winter/Spring 2009 Poems 10 and 19 of the second series in Absinthe New European Writing Issue 11 (Michigan, US)


Series 1


1. One is not the number that the number begins with We’re for ever two in number each with the world’s mirror in our keeping We are the Dual number that projects its own mirror into the infinity of a single mirror that has no number Simply to see ourselves as the world or not of the world or as the number that won’t be added up


2. The eye is an empty space that spies the emptiness of a glass undrunk Behind the look there’s an emptiness that looks at the look encircling eye and emptiness The look is a body that makes itself a face so as to strip away the emptiness of glasses drunk every day and give what we’re looking at a drink If now we strip this face away using a glass broken by dint of never being drunk we see the look that is the bone cage of what we don’t see and combs us The look is that part of death that sees us without dying without living and drinks us straight down In a cupboard there’s always a glass we do not drink from that we break one day by accident when we’re moving and give the removals man a drink What sees us reflects what we drink in everything seen


3. To look is to play a star’s part in the sky The routes that see in the dark put ropes about our neck The blood of eyes that have seen things forms the look that has kept things back The eyes that we turn on the world are holes that the world explodes Eyes are holes rolled up to go into a look that is the big hole that sees the world by putting us this once to sleep against it like a top


4. The eyes don’t look at the same time at what looks at them There is always the look’s weight on the right and the left scale of what sees We are the centre of the world that encircles us when the scale is balanced between our squinting eyes Sometimes when looking we make the world hesitate between the holes it wants to enter to see itself and make eyes that want to see us We are at the same time what we do not see and what we do see for what we do not see sees us and what we do see is blinded seeing us Our eyes teeter like feet that drank the world straight down Someone always puts a full stop at the end of this straight line to make it seem that the world is a sentence that stops when one wants it to No one ever drinks the full stop that no one’s put at the bottom


5. The look is a net cast for the eyes of passers-by so as to keep seeing Thus every look is the sum of all the eyes that met walking down one of infinity’s streets Thus every look is the eyes’ flock caught in the net of the world cast by a trawler of meetings Death is the sum of all the looks that look at the world less our look that looks at the world at times from the other side of the world The trawler’s look is the look that’s lacking from the box of all that looks like the hole in the game a child plays pushing letters while writing his name in a square into which other small squares slide to make up words The eye that does not exist lets us see the look that glides over all the holes in the world Through seeing we see what doesn’t exist


6. Look and eyes are the knotted rope of a starry acrobat If on a rope that’s knotted a knot is missing between two handholds it’s impossible to pull oneself right up to the crossbar it’s tied to The span between handholds becomes too great for us to be able to touch the crossbar’s ultimate knot So if with an inward look we close our inner eye we can no longer climb to the top of the look that looks at us The eyes are at once the children of the look and the fathers of the look Eyes that see are seen Those that do not see are not We are the size of a small infinite knot between the rope and the knots below the crossbar We are not the rope We are not the knot We are the hand that burns ourself because we slide between two knots


7 Behind the eyes there’s a hole that hails the holes with the voice of a hole Two equals One like the two sides of an isosceles triangle that rises to its peak like a knife Every look is the infinite point of this knife A hole is a look that sees the hole that is the hole the knife makes But the look we have is lower down in our belly where the holes’ little sun rolls under the knife that opens it When we look at an eye we see infinity at the back of the eye holed by the knife We are made of infinity as if all the eyes of the world were gathered together in the same punnet of fruit beneath a knife big as a tree and tiny as a knife The look is the infinity of the tree and the eyes bits of this infinity we strip from the tree with a knife Thus the eyes are finite since they’re detached from infinity


To die is to attach one’s eyes to infinity and hiding one’s knife become infinite again The look is only the infinity of the finite and the eyes only the finite’s infinity the knife cuts


8. Every look is a fragment of death further out than death The void fills with the emptiness it sees until it no longer sees itself for seeing us A look cannot be added to a look but empties what it sees into the sink of the world The absence of what was seen is revealed in the look like a theft To look is to get back what was seen then stolen It’s the way that any look flies above our eyes and that we exist behind our eyes like birds Our eyes are a meal for things the small deaths we sow in the ground We walk on the dead simply to get used to looking The earth is cake we push beans into for the cake we’ll eat when we’re under the earth


9. To laugh in this world is to share the head between our two eyes We come from the world that can see and we go back to the world that sees still with an eye gouged out as if on a black flag We go on weighing our eyes on the scales before seeing what sees us and what comes from seeing us Every look has a weight that weighs what is weightless on the scales of its holes We are the scourge of all that sees and we see with a hole full of holes To be the look is to see through the zero that sees us and that annuls what sees our hole and all


10. The eyes are controlled by threads that come down from the sky through our head and the sky becomes the look that holds the thread through all our holes Our eyes go further down through our belly and legs Our eyes are attached to our feet Our eyes are teeth Our eyes are nails and knees We walk upright since the sky holds us up by its threads We are what walks We are what stops walking Our shoes are the eyes we’ve torn from our heads and stick under our feet in order to walk When we cry we wash our feet with our head like after a long desert journey The dust that falls is what we’ve looked at through the hole that encircles us and hasn’t moved


Series 2


1. Four houses open it’s the breeze On thirsty days we’ll drink in the shadow of dogs Everything that happens your eye the broken shoe of a cloud a dead man’s black watch the fountain of lukewarm blood from the first flower You leave the night’s change on the counter and go home as if you were the guest with an open door at arm’s reach At that very moment as you pass out the bread the door’s put on the table

(Stick I, 1983, Toulouse, for Jean-Pierre Picard and Denis Pey)


2 You can’t comb one hair alone The very eye that sees in things a centre or a point becomes itself centre and point of the thing But the eye that propounds the difference between the point and the centre is a centre more extremely centred and the point it points out When you eat a fruit you become the double of the tree that bears the fruit When you break a bridge you become the double of the river that braces this bridge But what about the tree that eats its own fruit What about the river that breaks the bridge embracing it What about the circle that erases the point of its compass The difference is the journey between the point and the centre or between knife and blade for the real path that throws us back on ourselves like a pontoon over a point You can’t comb one hair alone on the hairless scalp of the eye that sinks to the centre of things


Every point is the end of a hair that you look straight at and tug to the very end so as to know the impossible face of the one whose hair it is Every poem is a decapitated head held up by a single hair


3 We’ve seen the staircase that led to the stairs and the window that opened the window and the cellar filled with flowers as high as smoke from the hearth The staircase that helps us walk is disguised as a child’s toy gun to remind itself of the eternal rent it has to pay the dream The top step turns us round magnifies the stairs we’ve just climbed wakes up the whole house then helps our shadow slide up to us Behind our back the shadow clasps our shoulders shrouds our feet and our head by becoming ourselves for an instant In front of us it breaks loose wanting to catch someone who resembles us then turns round and tugs us by the hair right up to the wall where it disappears We grab it just once like a lever to lever ourselves up towards something we recognize But just this once not taking it in since we’ve already become a transparency on the wall


4 When I get up I say good day even to those who do not greet me so as to free them from their night’s wait for the light The hour that lights the lamp wakes day up and moves the flight of two white flies into the fire Nothingness wakes to love that starts to love itself My right hand washes by itself in the fountain refusing my other hand How can you wash one hand without another someone says We have one hand of water for the day We have one hand of earth for the night But we have two hands when we talk to make in our mouth a third hand that washes the other two in water and earth The water left over erases your face when you look at it and its mirror reflects only another mirror that goes on burning even when you turn your back leaving it alone to contemplate penguin-like its infinity


5 The poem is an ear and not a mouth for man was born of an ear that sees and every ear copies the child curled up in the belly of a star in search of the sky it hasn’t got Only the mouth that can become an ear is a real mouth I speak You speak like a star We conjugate the night The poem not born from the ear has no hands in its eyes does not walk with feet claws out tongues and muzzles the mouths kisses shut The five ways of walking from the foot to the mouth from the ear to the eye from the foot to the ear from the mouth to the eye from the foot to the eye do not all lead to the belly of the star The fire’s left and right are linked in the sky’s heavy hand and infold ears that have not heard


6 So we enter without eternity the words of the dead crone In the garden the B of a bull makes a rose’s centre burst and judges its heart of black blood against me against you The star builds its own oven where it cooks itself and hides a mouth that resembles us in its tempest You ask me now to measure your house but I have no tools and only an angle can measure an angle When you empty your hands of the angels it stole a house is rebuilt in a house by taking out its window frames and opening only angles without sides My only tool is a pure child that I bed in a cradle of air or a vapour between noon and midnight My only tool is a ladder that I burn in the hearth


7 The day will come when we’ll spell fruit when the pit thrown in the lake will mouth us in the fountain The speed of love takes us from tower to well and the centre suddenly becomes a man who sustains emptiness by giving it a new number I stop for a moment to drink a glass of early morning mist with my father whom I claw from among the memorial’s eroding names the long list of fire We talk about the garden About the watch he lost We talk of the holes to be dug for the trees of sand guarded by rifles We go on about an old boat The speed of love takes us from tower to well and the centre suddenly becomes a man who sustains emptiness by giving it a new name

(June 1983 - Stick-Memorial at the Argeles concentration camp)


8 We no longer heard the wind or the frogs behind the hill At the foot of the bridge a woman was sewing her lips to the mouth of a drowned man that she’d pulled from the river You told me to come The air had to be avenged now by throwing cold sand from the bank Someone set the ball rolling with the brow of an endless shell Then two men buried your fingernails in the cellar of a star and nets were set in the night to catch planes and birds (for Rigoberta Menchu, June 1983)


9 You’d hoisted a child’s photo onto the fountain’s garrotte A tree was asking directions from the forest rides as they strode towards the houses On the doorstep you cleansed the Meridian by washing pebbles Under the clouds men became men then changed into birds showing the way to the Junctions of their children with the dead Infinity retreated step by step faced with a photo and bumped into someone who mocked it


10 Man saves the dust and borrows shoes to walk so that you don’t recognise his feet on the path In his look not the glint of an eye but the print of a cut finger The bare hand they grafted onto his chest gestures its response by revealing what’s seen even more The man asks: Who will live in the ruin? Who will place sheets over the rotten furniture of those who have left? Who will leave his jacket hanging on hooks in the corridors?


11 To make a house is to erect shadows so they hold up the walls To saw up smoke to make a fire It’s to take out the four-legged chair in the morning then put it back in the cellar at night with the sun’s two dogs The growing beauty of silence goes on throwing unending laundry through a half closed window emptying like a sink over the bunch of roses Under my shirt a shining crow hits on a thought that distorts that beauty and summons it from the void where it closes up


12 Write to me on the stamp or the gum or the air then leave a blank sheet in the envelope without the signature of a bird of all birds Shoot the messenger in the back and shave his head Burn a house in his mouth before he speaks then tear out his tongue Break the bridge Turn it over like a boat and cross the river without swimming In the days to come the star is an open knife in the child with no path and newly born


13 So I say unto you welcome my mouth in your mouth Scald the sky with coffee and salt Lick the scabs of your new tattoo that a ten-year old applied in the moonlight We all have a sable heart on our arms inscribed with initials and only our dogs know they aren’t all the same as they sniff us out in the street So I say unto you welcome my mouth in your mouth and tell me about the last thing and the first word and the last word and the first thing The ancient star will know us on the path as it pushes the dogs aside with its clubfoot


14 The edge of the flower is also the centre of the flower I steal my own hands to love you The edge revolving around me is turned into words that I pronounce: plate river or ashtray repeating rifle I stay silent in the continual collapse of coincidences that rot the edge of things: the wind in its closed trees or a new hand that grows at my fingertips to rob you again I steal zeros from the stall of a single number where the seller could be my mirror image I steal my own hands for the birthday of your hands since there’s no edge and there’s no centre and the seller’s not after me

(to Christine Valcke, 28 January 1995)


15 God yawns and we come simultaneously in his open mouth and the edge of the sky remains an eagle tracing an ever-widening circle above us This morning God is the cinder pile of a zero we burnt just like that with a torch In the memory of his open mouth we plant the centre where we were We follow the centre to the edge of the cinders and hope alone is the consonant that changes our speech by looking at the edge where nothingness never spoke The point is the centre of what we do not know the centre is the point we know around the edge that encircles us and sees us We don’t know what we write on the cinders but we create as many centres as the fire dying in the infinite points of its dust


16 By saying we must listen to the silence of doors still asleep in the trees By saying we must go through the centre of doors even when clawed out of their walls By saying tables are doors with syllables for trestle By saying we don’t eat but we’re right behind the bread that cuts the knife By saying we’ve found the door that can open the key we carry for ever slung about our neck By saying we don’t know which hand hung it there one night when day was stronger than night (Stick XVI, Toulouse; letter of 23 Sept. 1984)


17 Like this god that never arrives at himself and no longer exists in the end Like us between us and almost us Like this god between himself and his almost image who no longer sees his statues as himself Like this glass fish that slips between our fingers Like this woman who tears out her eyes before the thin reflecting surface of a mirror Like us between us and almost us who break this mirror Like yourself who sticks the pieces on the other side of a photo for collection by a small death in the future Like us between us grabbing the sky by the hair that hoists us up towards a cloud’s retreat Like this cloud fading between our fingers when we grab hold Like us who arrive at ourselves until we always exist even when no longer here


18 Death leaves very white steps the beginnings of snowfall Death vanishes outside into thin air The Dead crone goes on sitting at table For a long time we forget she no longer exists We serve her blood soup Someone says she’ll arrive before the meal’s over A child puts her napkin away in the drawer Often he thinks he can hear her saying softly “The sun’s just a bit of noise, right, my widowed child”


19 To denounce the well that steals the bird’s song by drawing it into its vaults To denounce the line that stops the bird’s flight against a clothes line full of sheets To denounce the wind that veers the bird far from its mouth’s spring To denounce the bird that saw the well To denounce the bird that saw the line To denounce the bird that saw the wind To denounce the bird that saw the bird The soldier that tortured us went on suckling a dog before our eyes at the barrel of his gun Never denounce the speech that has spoken (for Hector, Santiago de Chile, October 1985)


20 You see the shadow lengthening before the light comes You know that all joy is sober That the open hand has no fingernails That a child is the parent of your eyes for you recognize yourself when you look at him


21 Rain runs past the dry fountain and I drink a glass of cloud held in the mountain’s left hand What eye could show its white in all directions or fold itself over as blind skin does The two eyes I carry in my hand are the overflow of a face I’m looking at and that does not see itself in the sink lost among the knives and dishes For infinity creates a simple man to see himself the way a forest creates a simple tree for fire For if the eyes walk the feet know how to look further than infinity suckled by its own clouds For to see you is to walk until I drop and the night has naked eyes to pick the star grapes and my sex goes barefoot to pick your love For to live is to see from only one angle of the finite house thinking that one sees For to die is to see from all angles of the infinite house till one no longer thinks one sees


22 No doubt they had trampled the night Remember they invented a black water that they drank standing up in their horseshoes Their implements: Neither compass nor knot Neither skeleton nor bird Neither mare’s tail nor sheep’s shank Neither twot nor tool Neither infinity nor the brisket at infinity’s end For you they fastened a spring-head solidly to the wall beside a beast they’d led down from the sky You were neither the Minced nor the Emptied nor the Filled You were neither the instant nor the laugh neither eye nor arm Nor the eye at arm’s length


23 By changing death I uncross the directions that the cross points to on the closed mountain To break a mirror is to photograph yours in my amorous eye God is double in the void full of frozen panes and razes his stony face with a stroke of silence Take the table to bits to set the door Take the door to bits to set the table The nails of the cross are the teeth of a huge comb that grooms the infinite hair that imagines it’s part of us Yet nevertheless instructions come written on all the packaging of the poem delivered with this cross Break the comb if it makes us bleed when we comb the single hair of the love that lights us up Unnail the man from the cross and pick up all the hair at the foot of the closed mountain Burn the pieces of comb that a little barber left beside the body he couldn’t make talk and knew all

(1984 - poem for Rigoberta Menchu)


24 Now you love the rain that fires repeatedly at the river’s corpse You are skilled at grafting tornado and shadow You order back the alders off the road when you see the countryside no longer looks the same

(February 1994, the Chiapas guerilla - Stick-poem for the Sub.)


25 Air chips give fire a sex with tiny sheep Ten thousand pipits on their tousled chine I turn over a bridge like a boat on the river to battle with a fisherman who looks like me with his net The neophytes of the word gobble up the flies hatched from the meat of books then use the grub to scribble lost signatures on mirrors The preceptors sign breaking their names over the pages to find much later the unknown name that will lay hold of them Dying is the marriage of a moment to earth But today you have to know how to mix signatures for we must rise together with those who sign and those who don’t and the flies make no distinctions marching over mirrors that verify the schemes our breath makes

(MontsĂŠgur, November 1987)


26 Despite the wind I patiently fill a bowl with dust to give a sip to snake and vulture Fire had filled the house then wrote a poem that burned up all the poems I’d yet to write when you asked me to come and look for you at the heart of the fire when I found only riddled music that fiddled solo by flowing in the river’s direction (Chiapas, 1993)


27 Now the light has become the sempstress of bad shadow I’ve brought out a chair to sit in front of the house and got lost panhandling a star Reason rains like a storm in the street where mirrors clap hands spattering a half-erased noise with light I talk to myself You fasten your return and your dog to the door knob You lay table over half of my death and invite the doors I have not opened to join in the meal Last night’s thought tumbles me to the top of what I see Now the chair is seated on the chair and thinks by concentrating on its feet I sit myself on the deadest part of me I look at light tatting bad shadow I coach myself conscientiously to disavow the Star


28 He says The counterpoint gives his body to time and leaps into death The counter fire sneaks his body from the fire and extinguishes the blaze The counter tide gives the tide its direction and effaces the current The counterplea is the second plea that verifies the first The counterattack gives its bodies to death in order to rob death The same goes for countercharge counterchange counterpace counterpoise counterscarp The same goes for counteract counterfoil counterpart countersign The mad spy that chases papers on windy days has shoes without laces He is a mad counterspy that chases counterpapers to add pages to his hidden journal of the road Before him the sun drains the fire and its searching eyes drink in the entire head of a flower unplucked from the vase of light


29 He does not know that his infinity falls silent that even the mirror no longer reflects his breath that he has to use his lips to leave imprint or saliva that his height is down that he has to drag himself up to the shadows of trees to grow along with them


30 Getting through to the half outside by leaving one foot inside the house and your hands pocketed in its heart’s suit Here the dust is the last occurrence of the moment on the theatre’s silent step I stay true to the resistance of dust that makes love against the curtains and masks Here the Rod trembles when I beg him and my mouth changes its first letter: and I say God trembles when I beg him What I offer you is this: a logical window a hand full of silent logic a poker game of logicians The illogical clown only raises the curtain once the audience has left The logical face of death indoors as against the logical face of death outdoors Our laughter sometimes backfires baring its teeth at us and we no longer know what bread to feed its passing which doesn’t pause on our lips

(to René Gouzenne, November 1990)


31 I migrate into the sun’s nocturnal thought and see my stationary bike careering its wheels like two zeros one against the other That’s zero against zero or spectacles to see the path’s double My bike is a metaphysical tool like a bow that with its arrow and string parts all the angles like a mallet of butterflies like a glass of water passed from hand to hand or tobacco smoke in your open sex More particularly this morning my solitary bike is the last of the Presocratics on the motorway Beside Heraclitus the black Beside Thales the Bear’s determiner Beside Anaximander the boundless who played the sphere’s game Beside Pythagoras master of two principles Empedocles preserver of the wind Epimenides the purifier and Abaris the pedestrian of Ether Beside Philolaos census taker of numbers and the motherless 7 Beside Archytas who invented the rattle and duplication of the cube and who gave birth to the mechanical dove Beside Parmenides Beside Zeno of Elea Beside Leucippus Beside Democritus Beside


Anaxagoras Beside Protagoras Beside Georgias Beside Prodicos Beside Hippias Beside Etcetera Beside The poet treads down on the pedals unwinding the chain that reels the wheels towards zero The poet thinks of the anti-zero by looking at the empty clock that spins the two wheels of his bike More particularly this morning my bike that pedals alone between the cars is the last of the Presocratics The zero of the mouth that pronounces it is only the circle that surrounds the hole The sun’s rays alone pass us through the hole to the wheel that replaces the zero in the halted number the wheel recounts I look at my bike which speeds off down the road and adds the circle of the sun to the chain that joins its wheels

(February 1990, for Julien Blaine)


32 And we become the absolute Wholly the one we pray to no difference between the being of the tree and the being of the sky and the Being that does not spin within our bones And we pray like the blank void we drink in our bowls before filling them with fever for the snow In the chisel’s alphabet the U and the V get confused on the stone and we don’t know which is the consonant and which the vowel pronounced in our presence What term of fire stops short in our saliva God’s letters write those of the void in the inchoation of our creations in the inchoation of our quietus The poem only prays for the sex of night and the silent drum that ushers the star in the dustbin and the fly that lands late on our laughter Suddenly the letters mesmerise the World and share it out in the poem confessing us Suddenly the letters open our eyes to our final work as man that hesitates stumbling between term and terminus


33 I’ll carry your photos in my mouth The knot of grass encloses its own rain in a bag of beans and boons or the small pebbles I put on your windowsill I tire my wrist out under the submissive lamp of dawn then I repel the plate’s emptiness for another emptiness to take its place next to the knife Nothingness doesn’t make good the mistake Nothingness envelops the pale blade of the propeller that touches me Nothingness breaks its fingers and grafts its hand to a knife retrieved on the path The tongue is a horse that gallops in the star’s belly Here the eye is possible and insists on the well that reckons the verbs of the serpent twined about its stick Listen: Love is the orphan son of the High subtraction Hate is the orphan daughter of the Low subtraction


In the columns of the stellar schoolboy’s sum identities add up to signatures without ever a reckoning for their sign is made of two lines that face each other and neither knows who holds the mirror the other sees itself in


34 A distant star turns back time when I penetrate your eyes up to god’s virgin sex The difference awakes for the sleeper in his slumber and opens him a poppy in his head The look that remembers its eye wakes the vision where we are written but the eye that remembers its look sends the face that effaces us to sleep The compass vomits North in the little eye hidden behind the bone of a dove we’ve killed Smoking makes us see the fire that observes us solely to reverse its smoke to its paper breast We are the wind and once again we penetrate our eyes to the infinite sex that recites us


35 After his death the coffin lid was a mirror laid flat like a table With glasses and plates scarf ashtray and pebble Those holding the ropes saw their bodies descend slowly with him and gently buried their faces (We loved him We shaved him we dressed him and he didn’t know) He once said that life was a white spider that unstitched the bare fabric of our clothes that it was a password for doors and ears told from table to knife that the first one who’d betrayed its secret brought death to the dead by removing the living from the first supper and from the last the dead (We loved him We shaved him we dressed him but he didn’t know)


36 The night relies on me to light the fire The day relies on you for me to put the fire out Who knows breath apart from death that blows up a child’s balloon above our heads I’ll be the tread that halts the foot I’ll be the breath that your mouth breathes I’ll be the dream that the eyes inspect I’ll be the laughter that trips off his lip I’ll be the dead man who buries his death No rehearsal repeats itself not even the dead’s music or when I again say softly to you with a knife gently placed against your ear “No rehearsal repeats itself” Who knows breath but death’s balloon up above us replacing our heads I broke eggs filled with the hair of noon into the fire and I consume your clothes so as to knot what remains of our death into the flower where we’re asleep Outdoors the moon goes on a bender a light in winter and a bird crosses a hoop of birds not silently and with no return

(for Gherasim Lucas, Cogolin, August 1984)


37 To become a man is to go on from the needle that turns and points out the figures to the number that moves around the wheel and freezes the needle I lay you down on the snow I send you to sleep in the fire I hatred you with love So as to live you call the dead yet to be born out of the earth To become a number is to rehearse the single hair that links the motionless movement of all the hair of two who’ve died to the infinite number of the dead (for AndrÊ Velter, 1995)


1 (Stick I, 1983, Toulouse, for Jean-Pierre Picard and Denis Pey) 2 (Stick II, Toulouse, January 1983) 3 (Stick III, 15 February 1983, Toulouse, Saint Cyprien) 4 (IV, Toulouse, Saint Cyprien, 4 March 1983) 5 (V, Toulouse, April 1983) 6 (VI, Toulouse, January 1984) 7 (VII, Toulouse, June 1983 - Stick-Memorial at the Argeles concentration camp) 8 (VIII, for Rigoberta Menchu, June 1983) 9 (IX Toulouse, February 1983) 10 (X, Toulouse, 1984) 11 (XI, Toulouse, December 1983) 12 (XII, Toulouse, March 1984) 13 (IV, Toulouse, March 1983) 14 (XIV, Toulouse, for Christine Valcke, 28 January 1995) 15 (XV, Toulouse, June 1995)


16 (Stick XVI, Toulouse; letter of 23 Sept. 1984) 17 (XVII, Toulouse, April 1985) 18 (XVIII, Toulouse, December 1983) 19 (XIX, for Hector, Santiago de Chile, October 1985) 20 (XX, Toulouse, July 1983) 21 (XXI, Toulouse, February 1990) 22 (XXII, Toulouse, 1983-1996) 23 (XXIII, 1984- poem for Rigoberta Menchu) 24 (XXIV, Toulouse, February 1994, the Chiapas guerilla - Stick-poem for the Sub.) 25 (XXV, Montségur, November 1987) 26 (XXVI, Chiapas, 1993) 27 (XXVII, Toulouse, March 1986) 28 (XXVIII, Toulouse, March 1991) 29 (XXIX, Toulouse, November 1983) 30 (XXX, Toulouse, for René Gouzenne, November 1990)


31 (XXXI, Toulouse, February 199O, to Julien Blaine) 32 (XXXIII, Toulouse, February 1984-1996) 33 (XXXIII, Toulouse, 1983-1996) 34 (XXXIV, Toulouse, 1983) 35 (XXXIV, Toulouse, 1983) 36 (XXXVI Toulouse, for Gherasim Lucas, Cogolin, August 1984) 37 (IV, Toulouse, for AndrĂŠ Velter, 1995)


Serge Pey was born in Toulouse in 1950. He writes his texts on sticks and realizes ritual installations of poems. Writer, teacher, oral improviser, Serge Pey is also the founder of the Direct Poetry Festival, and of the reviews Tribu and Emeute. His direct poetry enables him to get to the root of the possession/depossession phenomenon in the oral poetry. He has published around 15 books notably La définition de l’aigle, Notre Dame la noire ou l’Evangile du Serpent, and La mère du cercle. Note also a Serge Pey/Allen Ginsberg CD, Université du MirailToulouse, 1993. Yann Lovelock lives and works in Birmingham, England. In addition to numerous collections of his own poetry and scholarly work, he has published translations from French, Dutch, Wallon, Flemish, Urdu, Spanish, and Danish and held guest editorships, notably for Modern Poetry in Translation (University of London) Dutch & Flemish issue 1997. As a Buddhist, he has been widely involved in educational work and inter-faith dialogue. Patrick Williamson is an English poet and translator, born in Madrid in 1960 and currently living near Paris, France. He has translated Yves Bonnefoy and Jacques Dupin among others, and edited selected poems of Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri (Inconnues Saisons/Unknown Seasons, Editions L’Harmattan, 1999) and of Quebecois poet Gilles Cyr (The Graph of Roads, Guernica Editions, Toronto, 2008). Most recent poetry collection: Trois-Rivières/Three Rivers (Editions l’Harmattan, Paris, 2010).


Thunnerplump And so, we say, friendship ends here in a tidal column of cloud that crumples the sky. Today has the saddest eyes, a tick of rain before the thunder swallows us into a house roomed by chance. Raw edges of what might have been scrape my metal fillings. Magpies people the light like an old movie devoid of sound but for a theatrical pianist. We close the book on the last brick of the story as dark paint swathes old weathered wood.

The Red Ceilings Press

MMXI [rcp 26] www.theredceilingspress.co.uk www.redceilings.blogspot.com/


Every poem is a decapitated head held up by a single hair